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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: California | East Bay | Health, Housing, and Public Services
Oakland has fastest pace for gentrification and displacement in the Bay Area
According to a recent UC Berkeley, Urban Displacement Project report, between 2013 and 2015 the pace of gentrification and displacement in Northern California accelerated the quickest in Oakland’s low-income neighborhoods!
Mapping Displacement and Gentrification in the San Francisco Bay Area
Oakland has fastest pace for gentrification and displacement in the Bay Area
By Lynda Carson - November 25, 2017
Oakland - According to a recent UC Berkeley, Urban Displacement Project report, between 2013 and 2015 the pace of gentrification and displacement in Northern California accelerated the quickest in Oakland’s low-income neighborhoods.
Additionally, the analysis reveals that during 2015, 62% of low-income households, or around a total of 900,000 low-income households across a 13-county region reside in neighborhoods at risk of or already are experiencing displacement, due to gentrification.
An advisory committee from the Regional Prosperity Plan chose 9 neighborhoods as cases that were chosen in an effort to capture geographic diversity and to examine different stages of the gentrification and displacement process. The executive summary of the report is available, and the full report is available.
In Oakland which has weak rent control laws, according to records from the City of Oakland from 1/1/2016 through 12/31/2016, it received 8,551 eviction termination notices. According to additional records from the Housing and Community Development Department in Oakland, there were around 12,050 eviction termination notices served in Oakland from 1/1/2015 through 2/29/2016.
Based on a new report from Apartment List, new figures are out regarding evictions during 2017 that occurred all across the nation, including the Bay Area, and Northern California.
Out of 784,923 renter households in the San Francisco, Oakland, Hayward area, reportedly there were 12,362 evictions during the past year. This is a very inaccurate conservative number due to a lack of accurate eviction records.
Unfortunately as the Urban Displacement Project reveals, some of the low-income victims may have been residing in Oakland’s low-income SRO hotels. Many low-income housing victims in SRO hotels may have found themselves being displaced by the effects of gentrification through the years due to the notorious activities of Danny Haber & Alon Gutman, including the displacement activities of James Kilpatrick, or the notorious activities of Richard Singer, and the illegal evictions by the Oakland Community Housing, INC, at the California Hotel.
Others faced death or displacement in Oakland through the years. Death or displacement as a direct result of notorious slumlords involved at the Ghost Ship fire, or the burned down apartment building owned by Keith Kim.
There were mass evictions occurring at Empyrean Towers by Alice Tze, in addition to the mass evictions at the formerly known Alice Arts Center because of former Mayor Jerry Brown, in addition to evictions at other buildings because of Jerry Brown’s anti-tenant activities.
Other renters were harmed by the illegal actions of landlord Richard Thomas, the notorious activities of Hong Gardner, or RMD Services, including slumlord Elizabeth Anne Williams, and the slum like conditions at the West Grand Hotel, in addition to slumlord owned red tagged residential buildings in Oakland, and bedbug infestations at the California Hotel.
Skyrocketing rents reveal the need for strong rent control and just cause eviction protections in Oakland, and the Bay Area. According to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, there is a shortage of 7.2 million affordable housing units across the nation.
During 2010-2014, according to a government census report the median household income in Oakland was $52,962, in addition to 21% of the population living in poverty, which means that most people in Oakland cannot afford to live in the rental units provided by greedy landlords. Especially, some of the landlords who have no qualms about ripping off the tenants with extremely high rents, or placing them in danger.
Oakland Rental History Since 1998
As most Oakland renters have experienced, many landlords charge rolls royce prices for slum-like conditions in ghetto areas of Oakland. Often, apartment associations and realtor associations are the enemies of renters, because they spend a fortune to make sure landlords are free to rip off renters as much as they want. According to the New York Times, Oakland’s median rent during 2016 was among the highest in the nation, just short of the median rent in Manhattan.
During 1998, the median price for a studio apartment in Oakland was $540.00 per month, 1 bedroom rental units were $725.00 per month, and 2 bedroom units averaged out at $875.00 per month, according to Homefinders.
Due to massive rent increases during 1999, the median price for a studio apartment in Oakland was $713.00 per month, 1 bedroom rental units were $850.00 per month, and 2 bedroom units averaged out at $1,050.00 per month. The housing crisis that occurred due to the rent gouging going on by greedy landlords during 1998 through 1999 amounted to a 32% increase in rent for studios, a 17% increase for 1 bedroom units, and a massive 20% increase for 2 bedroom units. The rent gouging by greedy landlords occurred during a period in which the so-called 3% cap on annual rent increases still existed in Oakland.
Additionally, based on figures from Rental Resolutions in that period, during the year 2000 in Oakland, the minimum market rate monthly rents averaged out at $800.00-$900.00 for studio apartments, $850.00-$1,100.00 for 1 bedroom units, and $1200.00-$1500.00 for 2 bedroom units.
The average market rate monthly rent in Oakland during 2001 were $850-$950 for studios, $1,150-$1,300 for 1 bedroom units, and $1,600-$1,800 for 2 bedroom rental units. The above source of figures were from Rental Resolutions in 2001. Indeed, to renters during that same period, these were some alarming figures that resulted in the displacement of many low-income renters in Oakland.
In comparison, during 2004, low-income areas below MacArthur Boulevard had cheaper rents, and the average minimal monthly rents being charged for one-bedroom units were only $650.00 a month in Oakland.
Monthly Average Rents In Oakland’s Low-Income SRO Hotels
During 2004, the Ridge Hotel charged $475 a month for an SRO room: The Old Oakland Hotel charged $480 to $520 a month for an SRO: The Sutter Hotel charged $560 for an SRO: The Lake Hurst Hotel near Lake Merritt offered SRO rooms for as little as $675 per month, and in addition to the room, they offered renters two free meals a day, five days a week, in their dining room.
In comparison, during 2014, the Empyrean Towers, formerly known as the Hotel Menlo, that was comparable to the low-income Ridge Hotel in Oakland, Alice Tse was charging renters as much as $79 dollars a night to live in slum-like conditions at the bedbug infested SRO hotel.
Rents In Oakland Continue To Rise, Displacing Many
According to the East Bay Express in 2012, one bedroom units were going for $900 to $1,000 in the Lake Merritt area, but during the same year studio apartments were going for $1,100 to $1,200, and one bedroom units for as much as $1,300.
During 2015, it was reported that Oakland had the second fastest-rising rents in the nation, passing the pace of San Francisco’s rent increases, coming in second behind the rent increases occurring in Denver. The rents in Oakland have climbed over 12.1 percent during 2015, since the end of 2014.
In 2016, according to a report from Zumper, rents in Oakland were the fifth highest in the nation, and the New York Times claimed that Oakland’s median rent was right below Manhattans median rent.
During August of 2017, the average market rate rent for a one bedroom unit was $2,400 per month in Oakland, but since then according to Zillow the current outrageous median rent in Oakland is up to $3,000 per month.
As an example of the latest outrageous rental units available, a recent listing on Craig’s List has an Oakland downtown apartment owner demanding $3,895 per month for a 2 bedroom unit at Maxwell.
Another landlord wants $1,895 per month for a studio apartment in downtown Oakland, or $1,995 per month for a studio apartment in a different unit, owned by the same landlord.
For those who do not mind hearing gun shots in their neighborhood, a different landlord is presently demanding $1,295 for a studio apartment way out in the killing fields of east Oakland, on Bancroft Avenue.
During 2017, Oakland was listed as the 7th most dangerous city in the United States.
For those needing help in the Oakland area to fight against an eviction, contact the Eviction Defense Center at 452-4541, East Bay Community Law Center 548-4040, or Bay Area Legal Aid 1-800-551-5554.
Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com